Speaking Event and Large School Photo – Solidarity Action

Hosting a speaking event or forum at your school can be a great way to engage students in thinking critically about how we treat people seeking asylum. We recommend you engage someone who has lived experience seeking asylum to come and talk to your students.

One of the biggest challenges in promoting compassion and humanity in Australia’s refugee policy, is the considerable misinformation that exists in the public discourse about refugees and people seeking asylum. Inviting a range of speakers to come to your school can help promote a more positive understanding of what it means to be seek asylum. There are a number of speakers programs around the country that allow you to raise awareness in your school community about the experience of refugees and people seeking asylum. Alternatively if your school community has connections to people who have lived experience seeking asylum you may want to invite them to speak. Our firm belief is that those speaking about their experience deserve to be paid for their time and energy. Please consider this when arranging any event.

Speaking programs

Jesuit Social Services Speakers Program – Melbourne metro area

Jesuit Refugee Service Voices Program – Sydney metro area – Sydney metro area

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Schools Program – Melbourne metro area

Refugee Council of Australia Face to Face Schools Program – Melbourne, Sydney and Wollongong areas

ChilOut School Speaking Program – Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne & Sydney areas

Red Cross of Australia ‘In Search of Safety’ Schools program:

  • Red Cross Primary Schools: available nationally

  • Red Cross Secondary Schools: ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, WA

Planning your event

We recommend you combine inviting a speaker to your school with other activities to allow students an opportunity to put into practice what they’ve learned. Your day could involve:

  • Running a range of educational activities before and after hearing from someone (link below)

  • Taking a large school photo with a message of support after the talk (see examples below)

  • Giving students the option to write letters to their local MP about the issue, (link below)

  • Show a film focusing on these issues after the talk, (link below)

  • Inviting students to share personal stories of visiting detention, volunteering, sharing their own migrant/refugee experience etc.

Free resources you can use

We’ve designed a range of educational resources you can use

You can find some tips for writing to your local MP here

You can find a list of films that you can show at your school

There are a range of other education resources and videos you can find:

Check out some photos from some schools who have had speaking events and large schools photos of support: